There's nothing like a punch in the face to bring you into the present
In my case it was my daughter's forehead colliding with the bridge of my nose as she crash landed after an impressive summersault! I heard a snap.
Then I was flooded with thoughts about my nose being broken I was in complete and utter shock.
My primal urges kicked in and I sprinted away into the bathroom, clutching my nose, feeling the terror of the unknown.
I didn't know if my nose was shattered into tiny pieces or whether there was blood pouring out all over me or whether I was about to pass out. My thoughts were out of control!
My husband was hurling questions at me and apparently I was just responded by wailing at him.
He picked up the phone to call an ambulance and somehow that cut through my fears brought me back to life, back to the present.
I checked in with myself, looked at my nose in the mirror (no blood, nothing out of place) and turned to my husband and I said "No I'm OK".
I was afraid to look at the damage but as soon as I did, I realized that it was not nearly as bad as my mind had told me it was.
That aside, I was still in shock so I laid down in bed with an ice-pack on my face, alone with my thoughts.
My mind was saying "You're going to have a bruised face and look awful", "You won't be able to do the things you had planned tomorrow", "This is a disaster", "I'm going to look terrible for weeks", "What if I do have to go to hospital at this time of night?"
Thinking like this is enough to give you a panic attack.
But instead of freaking out in response to these thoughts that my mind kept dishing out, I just watched them.
I took my own advice and stood back from the onslaught of negativity. I didn't engage with it, I didn't fight with it, I didn't feel terrible about it or try and stop it. I just let it go and observed it openly.
I focused on my breath. I breathed around my pain. I watched my thoughts.
Even though this was an undesirable situation, I ended up starting to enjoy having such a deep, uninterrupted experience of the present moment. There's nothing life a crisis to catapult you into the here and now.
I'm not crazy! This is what mindfulness does to you. It's quite incredible.
Within 15 minutes I was back into normal life (although I was still a little bit sore) without any residual stress or worry about the future. As it turns out I was fine BUT if I wasn't, can you see how a mindful approach to the situation would have reduced my suffering throughout.
Have you ever suffered, unnecessarily through something that turned out to be fine?